Monday, August 31, 2015

The Santa Clara Tract Northern Flow - Part 3

The dogs and I had been walking the trail along the widened Northern Flow, part of the St. Regis River (see previous two posts). It was a happy, wild experience:

And the dogs were having fun. I never officially turned back toward the trail head. The trail loops around on its own, so we just kept walking:

Soon we were back in sight of the water. Clover ran full speed to get to it:

It had been several minutes since they played in the water, so they had to do it all over again:

Clover was never a water dog before, so her newfound interest surprised me:

Fergus and Daphne waded, but Jack had discovered the joys of rolling in stinky swamp mud. Life can't get much better for a formerly abused, terrified Shelter dog:

I was happy too:

The dogs ran ahead, exploring everything with great joy. We met an older woman with a young girl. Luckily, they were dog lovers, for my crew greeted them with excessive enthusiasm:

We were getting close to the trail head at this point:

Wildflowers were in bloom all along the way:

And then we spotted our car, just ahead. I always love how the dogs are just as excited and happy to get back in the car as they were to get out of it at the beginning of a hike. Life is one joy after another:

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Santa Clara Tract Northern Flow - Part 2

The dogs and I were walking a trail along the Santa Clara Tract Northern Flow, the shoreline of the St. Regis River. Seamus, Daphne and Clover went right into the water:

Then Fergus joined them, and Jack cautiously checked it out:

But the two most enthusiastic water lovers are always Seamus and Daphne:

Once we'd had our fun at the first shore access, we returned to the trail to do more exploring:

The trail was alive with wildflowers - in this case, Goldenrod, Queen Anne's Lace and Spotted Knapweed. But there were lots of other wildflowers as well, especially Pearly Everlastings and Yarrow:

The dogs wanted to run and I had to keep calling them back - but that's normal. I guess I'm used to it:

In no time at all, we found another spot with shoreline access. Daphne and Clover went right in but I was most excited by the brilliantly colored Cardinal Flower in the water:

This is our beloved wild Lobelia, an Adirondack water lover:

But the dogs didn't care about flowers. They just wanted to have fun:

And fun they did have. I love this photo of Seamus and Jack, with the wild Adirondacks in the background. The dogs and I are in a beautiful part of the country and having happy lives:

And little Daphne played among the Cardinal Flowers. But we weren't done yet. I'll post Part 3 tomorrow:

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Santa Clara Tract Northern Flow - Part 1

I looked on Google Maps and found a hidden lake at the end of a local dirt road, all on New York State lands. Well, that seemed promising, so I drove there and discovered that the road was gated and all the land was both private and posted. The nearest place I could think of as an alternative was the St. Regis River boat launch in Santa Clara, so that's where we went:

A group of women had just launched their canoes and kayaks for a paddle, but two kayaks had lagged behind to be sure their car doors were locked. The dogs barked happily and wagged their tails while the women greeted them with equal enthusiasm. It was a nice way to begin our walk:

I called the dogs away from the boat launch and to the trail, but we didn't get far before I stopped to photograph these stunning Gentian flowers. We used to call this color "royal blue." I never hear that expression anymore, but it seems apt:

Every August/September I find blue Gentian flowers along Adirondack trails, but I am seldom sure which species they are. This time, the leaves gave them away as Narrow-Leaved Gentian, Gentiana linearis. I like calling any of them Blue Bottle Gentians because it is so perfectly descriptive:

But the dogs didn't care about flowers. They wanted to run, pee and smell things:

We'd barely begun when I veered off the trail to explore this mossy meadow, dotted with Reindeer Lichen:

Clover and Daphne found lots of interesting smells, but little Jack just kept running:

Seamus has been on a strict diet. With his thick, woolly hair, it doesn't show much but I think he has lost a lot of weight:

The photo doesn't capture it well, but this mushroom was metallic gold colored. I've seen bright red and purple mushrooms, but this was the first one which was metallic gold:

The trail took us alongside the Northern Flow, the wide reservoir created by a dam at St. Regis Falls. So we stopped frequently to explore the shoreline. Daphne went right into the water:

The next thing I knew, Daphne Seamus and Clover were all in the water. This adventure had begun rather well, I thought, and there was much more yet to explore. I'll post Part 2 tomorrow: